Casting some 9mm lead ?s
First off id like to say that this is my first attempt at casting whatso ever,but i never go into anything like this unarmed. I just had a couple questions for those out there that would be so kind to share some expierance!:)
I hastly bought a Lee 9mm mold 356-102-1R not paying atten. to the gr. weight i think may have bit me. 102gr? Isnt that a really wierd weight to begin with?
The other question i had about this particular mold is, its sized for .356 and im reading alot about 9mm liking .357-.358 to keep leading down and accuracy up. I check other 9mm molds for sale and just about all of them drop .356. If 9mm likes bigger then why do the molds drop smaller?
I realize that for a tru fit i would need to slug the bore correct? Im not looking to match shoot or impress anybdy, i just want lil 2no leading and decent accuracy is all.
On another note i found somthing out the other night and tried it out!
Ive got chunks of lead from work and i had no clue how hard these things were,sooo i browsed another forum and they had a sticky about how to test lead hardness with artist pencils! I gave it the ol college try and im fully confident that what i have for lead is right around 12-14 BHN. According to there charts a bit harder then range scrap. Kinda neat! ~Capn~
12-14 is a bit soft still for 9mm. IMHO, it is not just the velocity, it is the way 9mm acts. Small case gets up to speed very quickly. Hard bullet, properly sized and LOADED LONG (as long as possible).
Add some Linotype, perhaps 50% of your mix. The harder the alloy, the larger it will cast. .356 is the expected "as cast" diameter with a given alloy (usually Lyman #2). Lino will cast probably .3565 or .357 in the same mold.
Rotometals is an excellent source for Lino
I use the same mold for 38 special, 357 mag and 9mm. I have a Lee 147 grain trununciated cone. It is a semi-waddcutter. It shoots great in either round. I size them differently for 9mm. I size to 358 for 38/357. I size 356 for 9mm. I shoot really soft. Sometimes pure lead. I follow tested recipes from Hodgdon.com. I have very little leading in my Ruger P95 and my Kahr CM9. I have even loaded them pretty hot without any problems.
Keep in mind if you do get any leading, do not shoot jacketed ammo until you clean it out. That can actually be dangerous. You could get a round stuck in the barrel. It is easy to clean out though. Just take a piece of a "Chore Boy" copper pot scrubber wrapped around a cleaning brush. Run it through the barrel really fast for about 30 second to a minute...clean as a whistle.
I would recommend staying away from lead unless it's a last resort. 9mm tends to lead up the barrels quickly and they are a pain to clean. Unless you can run a patch through a barrel and it comes out white your barrel is not clean and probably has a layer of lead remaining. All the polygonal rifled barrels like Glocks recommend against lead, as they lead worse than a standard rifled barrel.
Common misconception about cast lead bullets. I have been casting and shooting lead bullets in 9mm for over 20 years.
Do not confuse hard cast bullets with the cheap, swaged, soft bullets from Hornaday and Speer.
I"ve never had much luck with the lighter bullet weights in 9mm. Stick with 140 gr+, so that 800 or so fps will cycle the slide. 9mm's are often picky about what bullet lube you use, too, or the bullets keyhole/tumble
If you load the lighter cast slugs hot enough to reliably work the slide, they will often keyhole/or foul the bore badly. Tin and antimony, or linotype if you can find it, are very expensive. If you do all that work to cast, why have as much money in the bullets as you'd pay for fmj's?
Casting is an evil chore, if you want more than a very few hundred bullets, and there's no savings in it if you aren't cating a lot of them. I'd never bother, unless using a couple of 6 cavity molds, a Star progressive sizer luber, and a propane fired plumber's furnace, melting over 100 lbs at a time. Then you can turn out 500 or more finished bullets an hour. I don't do hard, dangerous work for less than $30 an hour, but that's just me! :-)
Remember that lead is toxic, The fumes from casting can make you very sick, so you need a small fan blowing from you towards the lead pot.. Lead will absorb thru your skin, so wear gloves. Molten lead is hot enough to ignite wood and paper, so watch out for flammables, in addition to splashing the stuff and burning yourself. Beware snagging the pot with any sort of cord. phone cords almost "got" me, 2x. :-)
Casting good bullets can make you pull your hair out. Aluminum molds are very soft and easily damaged, but steel ones can be ruined by a drop to pavement. so have a iiece of plywood or particle board under you! The Lee 1 and 2 cavity molds are junk, the alignment pins are no damned good. aluminum molds warm up very quickly, steel ones are best set on an electric hotplate, to warm them and keep them warm if you take a break. beware the lead in "glue on" wheelweights. It ruins whatever batch of alloy that you mix it with! I've heard the same thing about "wiped' lead solder joints, but never tried to use them for casting.
The most popular cast bullet for the 9MM is the Lyman 121 grain spire point. I cast them from wheel weights and drive them to about 1100 FPS with Thompson's Blue Angel lube.
Never had a problem of any kind in my SIGs or Beretta.
1) 12-14 BHN is excellent.
2) Most 9x19s like lead bullets that are 0.357-0.358". What is the groove diameter of the barrel and what diameter are the bullets? You really should know these two things.
3) I learned back in the '70s that my as-cast and hand lubed bullets were ALWAYS as accurate or MORE accurate than sized bullets. Thus, since at least 1978, I have NEVER sized a lead bullet.
4) Currently I tumble lube all my cast bullets with a very thin coat of Lee Liquid Alox. You can get the same thing from White Label Labs as Xlox. You can get already made up 45/45/10, which is basically 45% Johnson Paste Wax, 45% Xlox, and 10% mineral spirits from them also and everything I hear is that the combination is a great lube.
The first mistake EVERYONE makes is applying too much LLA. All you want is for the bullets, after tumbling, to look wet/shiny. They should not look amber/brown.
5) The Lee 358-102-SWC is a lot more accurate and fun than the 1R. Also, the 1R has a very blunt hemispherical ogive. If you really want a RN, the 2R are generally much closer to the standard 124gn FMJ-RN bullet.
6) I shoot 115gn and 124gn L-SWCs in ALL my 9x19s, even pre-WWII Luger P-08s and WWII Walther P-38s. They function great for me.
7) I wouldn't start loading lead bullets for a 9x19 until I had some experience with jacketed. Assuming you do, go for it.
8) Leading is not a problem. Check your barrel every 100 rounds and, if there is leading, wrap some copper wool around a brass brush and scrub it out. Doesn't take too long.
9) If you get leading, where is the leading?
A clue to what is causing the leading is where the leading first begins to appear.
If it appears near the chamber, chances are that bullet diameter or hardness are the cause. A diameter too small or an alloy too hard will allow high pressure gas to leak past the bullet, which erodes the bullet and leaves leading near the chamber.
If the leading first appears on the leading edge of the rifling, the bullet might be too soft or the velocity too high.
If the leading appears in the second (front) half of the barrel, the bullet is running out of lube.
These aren't always true, but they are excellent places to start.
Shooting lead bullets requires more knowledge of your gun and your bullets.
There have been some real deals on Linotype on E-Bay. :)
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